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Slow processing speed- a 'thing' to worry about or not?

(90 Posts)
LovelyBath Thu 31-Mar-16 23:27:39

I've just found out at parent's evening that DS is being given extra time in the yr 6 SATS due to his slowness in writing. I didn't realise he was that slow! It seems he is very bright, and often answers half a practice paper well but the other half is blank due to the time he takes.

I asked whether I should speak to someone about it and they mentioned the SENCO if i wanted to but not sure. I guess he's moving to secondary now so might as well wait and say what they say.

VertigoNun Thu 31-Mar-16 23:36:28

My dd was given extra time for slow processing she too has a high IQ. Once it went on a plan her teachers that didn't know her spoke to her v e r y s l o w l y. Dd would look at them hmm and respond in a way that gave her a shock response from the teacher. They don't seem to understand what slow processing means so get the SEN CO to explain.confused

Do they know why? We later found out dd had vascovagal syncope and was a couple of heart beats away from a teen PoTS dx so there were brain blood supply issues causing brain fog for define and possibly other comorbid issues going on.

LovelyBath Fri 01-Apr-16 00:00:46

I'm not sure. To be honest they have mentioned the slowness before but today i had the first mention of it as parent's evening so it's all new to me. I had a quick look online and it said something about lack of sleep which could be a thing here. he loves to read and stays up for hours. He did also have pneumonia as a toddler but no other health worries.

Do you think it's a good idea to speak to the GP about it or let them know? I guess I can ask the SENCO and see what they think.

Thank you for your reply. I hope all goes well for your daughter.

VertigoNun Fri 01-Apr-16 00:07:39

Actually that dd is on CPAP treatment for sleep disorder breathing. Speak to SENCO first and then take that information to your GP if you think you need to.

mrz Fri 01-Apr-16 08:04:52

I think you need to find out if he has slow processing or is simply a slow writer very different things.

LovelyBath Fri 01-Apr-16 09:33:54

Thanks both of you, what I will go is go to the SENCO and ask how they know it is that and not just a slow writer. and ask about the GP at the same time. The sleep is something I can try and tackle myself simply by trying to make sure he is getting enough and going to sleep at a good time.

They did seem keen to get him extra time for the SATs and I know they can be under pressure for the children to get the required grades etc so i'm a bit concerned in case this is influencing things.

biddy53 Fri 01-Apr-16 09:41:57

Do you know who assessed him as having a slow processing speed? It should be an Ed Psych or similar - they would have produced a report with recommendations

LovelyBath Fri 01-Apr-16 14:45:09

His class teacher who has also got years experience as a SENCO.

mrz Fri 01-Apr-16 18:45:33

She isn't qualified to make that diagnosis

LovelyBath Fri 01-Apr-16 20:48:50

Ok well I'm not too concerned about that, just helping my DS. As I mentioned, I'm going to have a meeting with her and go from there.

PurpleAlerts Fri 01-Apr-16 22:32:09

My DD is 17. We have always had a suspicion that there was an underlying issue which slowed her down. She is very bright but did not reach all her target grades at GCSE. She seemed to be struggling more since starting A levels so we finally took her to the dyslexia institute and paid for a full ed psych evaluation. It turns out that she is not dyslexic but has a condition called Meares Irlens syndrome ( also known as Scotopic sensitivity)

She has amazingly slow processing from print and when trying to take notes during lessons. The EP was astounded it had never been picked up before. Said she had developed some very effective coping strategies but that the pace of A levels had started to show up the cracks.

She now uses a laptop in class( she can type much faster than she can write) and will be allowed to use it for her exams and have extra time. I feel guilty we hadn't had her assessed before as the extra time she would have got at GCSE would have been the difference between A and A* grades.

A SENco may well be very experienced but only an EP evaluation will hold any clout for the future.

irvine101 Sat 02-Apr-16 00:01:09

PurpleAlerts, my ds's writing is painfully slow, and he avoids it as much as possible. He can't finish some tasks at school in time. But on the computer, he can type a lot faster. He can calculate in his head very quickly, but once he starts to write down workings, he slows down dramatically.
I always had some suspicion in my mind about underlying issue, but he is only 8, so it isn't so obvious yet. Reading your post made me think about what happens in the future, if it was left unfound.
How do you get private Ed psych evaluation done? And if you don't mind, roughly how much does that cost?

AlleyCatandRastaMouse Sat 02-Apr-16 00:03:49

DD has dyslexia and dyspraxia and most likely SPD. She is G&T but slow at processing. When she has something to say or add it is worth waiting for. 😄. it is worth speaking to SENCO.

irvine101 Sat 02-Apr-16 00:30:07

Mrz, if it was just slow writing, how do you improve it?
Also, as a teacher, if some parents went to senco without class teacher's suggestion, do they feel disregarded?( I asked the class teacher if she think there's any problem, but she said no. At parents eve, she said he is putting no efforts, but ds was surprised to hear that when I asked him if he was being lazy, since he thought he was doing his best at writing.)

RTKangaMummy Sat 02-Apr-16 00:55:37

My DS has very slow processing with thinking, writing and answering questions verbally, orally and aurally

He is nearly 21 years old now and it was picked up when he was in primary school

Then he had ed psych which did full testing (the testing session lasted about 5 hours, so a whole day really when lunch breaks etc) showing very high IQ but very slow processing

He also has dyspraxia and other SPLD from being born at 27 weeks and being ventilated on oxygen for months after birth

Please ask for all the help available

DS got top GCSEs and A levels grades and is about to graduate from university smilesmile so it is possible if you get the right help, and find out the strengths and weaknesses of your child

Good luck smile

Tarrarra Sat 02-Apr-16 01:06:20

Ds is slow processing diagnosed with dyspraxia. We have seen a private Ed Psych who did a timed writing test with him, but the school also do the same test at various intervals as well. I would speak to the Senco and ask for advice on helping him further, as it will be particularly helpful for secondary school if he needs more support.

RTKangaMummy Sat 02-Apr-16 01:15:40

One thing that helped DS at primary was when the teachers wanted to ask him a question in class they would ask him then move on to ask another child their question then come back to DS for his answer

Therefore giving him enough time to work out his answer without the extra pressure of the whole class waiting for him to process the question and the answer

Perhaps ask if that would help your child

Also, ask for print outs of things they put on the whiteboard, especially in senior school so they don't have to make notes while trying to listen to the teacher talking

At Uni DS got given a dictaphone to record the lectures on so he could concentrate on what was being discussed

And then play it back in his own time to do the essays

All the essays seem to be done on laptops at Uni by everybody

LovelyBath Sat 02-Apr-16 08:53:39

I'm a bit unsure about having him tested and diagnosed with anything to be honest. I'm also a bit confused. I discussed with the teacher whether it's a 'thing's in is it a specific diagnosis or learning disability such as dyslexia, and online and it seemed not. So I'm a bit confused.

It is difficult with these things, isn't it. If they have a diagnosis of something, I suppose that would mean a plan and additional support which would be good. However I'm concerned about labelling children as well, (possibly I don't need to be) as it will be then on their medical records etc. (or would it?)

Any thoughts welcome, especially from parents who have been through this with their child.

LovelyBath Sat 02-Apr-16 08:54:25

I meant by a 'thing' is it a condition in itself.

LovelyBath Sat 02-Apr-16 08:58:05

So, tha plan so far is I can speak to the actual school SENCO and also the class teacher who used to be the SENCO. They are going to mention it in the transfer meeting between the teachers with the secondary school after the SATs. I can also mention it and meet with the secondary school SENCO before they transfer to big school

The idea was shared with me about getting a laptop for him for typing in secondary, which he will be able to take to the school and library and possibly use int eh after school prep / homework sessions. I think this is a good idea. They are also talking about teaching him touch typing. Has anyone had success using this? Many thanks.

LovelyBath Sat 02-Apr-16 08:59:58

PS Thank you for the replies, I read them properly after posting. Dictaphone and laptop and other suggestions sounds good. He loves any time of gadget so would work well.

LovelyBath Sat 02-Apr-16 09:03:33

Sorry another post! I keep thinking of more things, and it won't allow me to edit.

I suppose the next step would be seeing the SENCO and then they will refer me to the ed psych for the assessment / diagnosis? School seem to be very helpful but also seem to go from what we wish to do as well. Teachers very experienced which is good.

TJEckleburg Sat 02-Apr-16 09:06:53

Why would a label be bad? What's wrong with being dyslexic? I have two kids with dyslexia and dyslexia and they are both fantastic, incredibly intelligent, and thriving at a super selective independent school. Stop being scared of your child being different and get him a proper diagnosis by someone more qualified than a school Senco so that you can help him to make the most of his particular way of thinking. And please don't let your prejudices affect the way he thinks about himself - some of the most successful people have SEN

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 02-Apr-16 09:09:30

The current opinion seems to be moving away from giving laptops, since they can do more harm than good and actually increase the gap between the children who have problems and others. I wouldn't be going down that route when you don't actually know what the problem is.

What you need them to do is get him properly assessed by someone who is qualified to do that so you can work out what the issue is and work out a plan from there. The school seem to have massively overstepped their remit here.

I know you are concerned about him being labelled, but having him unofficially labelled with something he might not have is probably the worst possible outcome.

RTKangaMummy Sat 02-Apr-16 09:57:22

Btw DS didn't use a laptop in any lessons, or GCSE or A levels, not until degree level when they all use them, but he had his dictaphone to use in the lectures etc

In senior school very helpful to get printout of whiteboard notes, the teacher just needs to click print and it will print off the notes on whiteboard, so no hassle during the lesson and a highlighter pen

Yes touch typing would be a good idea as they can then type while looking at the whiteboard

IMHO and IME you really need a proper diagnosis and report from properly qualified ed psych

The report completely amazed us as it had him on or near 98th percentile for most of it but processing speed was on 7th percentile along with a couple of other speed related tests, I transferred the results into a bar graph to show to DS and my goodness it was very obvious

Please don't be frightened of helping your child reach their full potential

Kind of look at it like, your child is really good at running but his shoes are too small that they hurt his feet so he can't run as fast as his potential allows, so do you buy him new shoes that are bigger and will help him reach his potential or do you leave him in the small shoes?

All you are doing by asking for an ed psych assessment is taking them to have their feet measured to see if new shoes would help

If new shoes aren't needed then fine but if they are needed then also fine, get them and watch him run as fast as he can to his full potential smilesmilesmile

DS has had 2 assessments through his school times, one in primary, then another aged about 14

The teenage one took less time to conduct but iirc he needed it to qualify for the extra time in GCSE etc

It doesn't go on his medical records and it was up to him if he told the university as it didn't automatically follow him from senior school

It is our job as parents to tell schools things about our child but at University it is completely up to the child/young adult to decide who knows what about them so please don't worry about the "label" following them without their consent

Please ask for help and an assessment from ed psych, good luck smile

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